AANHPI Lifetime Judges Confirmed During the Biden Administration

Courts Resources 05.15,24

Read “AANHPI Lifetime Judges Confirmed During the Biden Administration” ›

President Biden has appointed and the Senate has confirmed 35 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) lifetime judges, including 23 AANHPI women, who are now serving lifetime appointments on the federal bench. Importantly, nearly half (17) of these judges come to the bench with significant experience protecting and advancing civil and human rights.

  • In our nation’s history, there have only ever been 90* lifetime confirmations of AANHPI judges. President Biden has appointed nearly 40 percent of them. These 35 confirmations represent more than double the number of confirmations than any previous single presidential term.
  • Only 21 AANHPI judges have ever served on a federal circuit court, and President Biden has appointed more than a quarter (six) of them — including the first AANHPI judges on the Third Circuit (Judge Cindy Chung) and Seventh Circuit (Judge John Lee).
  • President Biden has appointed the first AANHPI lifetime district court judges in six states: Colorado (Judge Regina Rodriguez), Connecticut (Judge Sarala Nagala), Michigan (Judge Shalina Kumar), New Jersey (Judge Zahid Quraishi), Virginia (Judge Jasmine Yoon), and Washington state (Judge Tana Lin). Additionally, Judge Mia Perez is the first AANHPI judge to serve on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (but not the first in the state).
  • Judge Zahid Quraishi and Judge Nusrat Choudhury (who are Pakistani American and Bangladeshi American, respectively) made history as the first two Muslim lifetime judges in our nation’s history.
  • In November 2023, the Senate confirmed Judge Shanlyn Park to the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii, making her the first Native Hawaiian woman to ever serve as a lifetime federal judge.

*Note: This includes judges who have been confirmed twice to lifetime positions, including Judges Denny Chin, Lucy Koh, John Lee, Jacqueline Nguyen, Florence Pan, Atsushi Tashima, and Amul Thapar. These confirmations are each counted separately. We also include the confirmation of the late Judge Cyrus Nils Tavares (District of Hawaii), who identified as Native Hawaiian but who is identified as white by the Federal Judicial Center. We also include Judge Walter Meheula Heen (District of Hawaii), who is Native Hawaiian. Judge Heen received a recess appointment from President Carter and served as an Article III judge, but he was never confirmed by the Senate.

Read the full fact sheet ›